The triumphant roar of engines echoed through the atmosphere as Arianespace’s Vega VV23 mission soared into the skies from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, marking another pinnacle of success in the European space odyssey. Carrying an intricate ensemble of satellites, including the eagerly anticipated optical observation satellite THEOS-2 and the weather satellite FORMOSAT-7R TRITON.
Stéphane Israël, the CEO of Arianespace, couldn’t contain his euphoria, “Congratulations to Arianespace teams and their partners, amongst them Avio, ESA, and CNES, for this successful Vega launch.” With multiple satellites now orbiting Earth, the Vega launcher has once again showcased its unmatched adaptability and prowess, validating the unwavering trust placed in it by esteemed clients like Airbus Defence and Space for Thailand, Taiwan Space Agency, and the European Commission.
Giulio Ranzo, CEO of Avio SpA, also revelled in the mission’s success. “We are very happy about the success of the mission,” he acknowledged, crediting the collaborative spirit and tenacity of Avio, Arianespace, and ESA teams in overcoming obstacles and ensuring that schedule alterations were minimized.
But what exactly made the Arianespace’s Vega VV23 mission a harbinger of new possibilities in space exploration? Beyond the smoke and flames, past the piercing roar of its powerful engines, the journey of this launcher illuminated the meticulous choreography of cutting-edge technology and human ingenuity.
The Vega launcher, a brainchild born from the adept hands of AVIO Spa and nurtured by the collaborative efforts of Arianespace and CNES, demonstrated its impeccable design and performance. For a captivating six minutes post-liftoff, the first three stages of the launcher operated with flawless precision. The subsequent ignitions of the AVUM upper stage dispatched the two main satellites, THEOS-2 and FORMOSAT-7R/TRITON, into their designated orbits, and later, the ten auxiliary passengers.
THEOS-2 stands as a testament to the technological strides made in Earth observation, a sentinel in the skies aiding Thailand’s developmental ambitions. In a similar stride, FORMOSAT-7R/TRITON emerges as a dual-purpose gem, a weather sentinel and a scientific probe, meticulously crafted by the Taiwan Space Agency.
Yet, the year has been no stranger to challenges for European Space, especially with the retirement of Ariane-5 and delays surrounding the advent of Ariane-6. The Vega-C program, still rebounding from the setback of its inaugural commercial flight, casts a shadow of anticipation and resilience, echoing the indomitable spirit of space exploration.
Click on this link to read this article in French version